Southern Agenda

Fore Thought

When the preeminent golf course architect Gil Hanse first saw the landscape at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He’d assumed the North Texas topography would be flat, but he instead found an undulating canvas more reminiscent of Texas Hill Country. “I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by the role Panther Creek would play,” Hanse says of the meandering waterway through what became the Fields Ranch East course. Nearby, the Fields Ranch West course designed by Beau Welling illustrates a philosophy of playability. “The projects I enjoy the most create human moments,” Welling says. “A place to gather with friends.” The entire complex, which opens this spring, is already booked to host six major events, including the Senior PGA Championship in May. Both Hanse and Welling are known for emphasizing sustainability and providing habitat for wildlife. “The wetlands we created have turned out to be one of the nicest features of the entire property,” Hanse says. “We hired a local native plant expert who showed us a palette of thirty species, from which we chose the right density, height, and characteristics.” Ridgelines create exceptional vista points, the better to seek out birdies of both the feathered and fairway varieties.